Condo Count Reveals Declining Number of Units  
Friday, January 27, 2012

WEBSTER ¡X I spent too much time Jan. 9 trying to sift static from audio to the televised meeting of the Webster Board of Selectmen. Interference probably drove observers to more traditional channels, such as ¡§Antiques Showcase,¡¨ as in my case.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette headline was ¡§Indian Ranch, neighbors reach agreement¡¨ the next morning. If there was a compromise, I didn't hear enough to make an independent judgment. My view is to generally catalogue lake zoning for what it is ¡X single family lake residential, as its blue coding submits.

While a replay the next evening seemed somewhat better, it still left a lot to be desired. Remedial action is necessary, and the Board of Selectmen ought to stand up for its public access viewers.

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¡§How many condominiums do we have in Webster?¡¨ asked Assessors Chairman Marc D. Becker.

It was a question within a general tax regulations discussion. Frankly, I don't understand all of the imperfections and blemishes to ¡§fair¡¨ property taxes, but Mr. Becker seems to have all the answers.

His condo question caught me by surprise. Yes, I know the count at Beacon Park, where we live: It's 90, the largest in town, but not representative of the whole town. Webster's total condominiums figure is 356, says Mr. Becker.

Not that it means anything, but the declining counts include Treasure Island, with boat slips and other amenities, 77; Highcrest Park, developed by Mr. Becker's late father, Herman Becker, 37; Eastern Avenue, and New England Commons, an over-60s project, both 20; Stefaniak Avenue and Colonial Village, both with 18; West Avenue and Vecchia Street, both eight; Snug Harbor, Lake Village, Lyndale Avenue and Chase Condos, each with six.

There are another 27 units in 14 buildings, suggesting that some small apartment properties were converted for sale to others. For the bottom line, credit Mr. Becker.

If anyone is interested, there's also an explanatory real estate posting within the assessors office. It has some intriguing queries: ¡§Why do we have property taxes?¡¨ ¡§Why do taxes and property values change every year?¡¨ ¡§Why is it possible for taxes to go up even if values go down?¡¨ It's really a taxing subject!

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Before they got into ¡§bottom line¡¨ troubles, and ruefully watched officers at Harrington Memorial Hospital in Southbridge come onto the town scene, Webster's Hubbard Regional Hospital had quite a dine-out following.

Seniors and others took advantage of price and quality at HRH, frequently filing through the cafeteria. The Southbridge folks seem to be bringing meals back somewhat, according to Webster's Andy Pryga, a longtime regular at the Hubbard kitchen. ¡§I went there a couple of weeks ago for ¡¥lazy pierogi,¡¨ says Andy. ¡§You know what it was? Pretty much traditional pierogi all ground up. It was pretty good, and only five bucks.¡¨

Always a basketball fan, and once a season ticket-holder at Providence College, Mr. Pryga still attends his share of hoop games, but at area schools. Marianapolis in Thompson Center has become one of his favorites. Stanley Lenky of Webster, the former long-term Bay Path Regional Vocational High School committee member, joined Andy on a visit to Marianapolis last week.

Mr. Lenky lived in Thompson as a young person, and is familiar with all of the venues in his hometown. Still, Marianapolis was new to him. ¡§I went by there a lot as a kid, and knew it was well off the road, but never went in there before.¡¨

This suggests that his home influence was something like ¡§Don't go where you don't belong.¡¨

-Courtesy Of
Telegram & Gazette

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